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Land Rover Freelander Td4 ES Softback 3dr

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      11.06.2001 05:00
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      The Freelander is a wonderful looking car. I am really attracted to it, especially as a SoftBack – I crave practical convertibles. But when I went to see it, I didn’t even bother to test drive it. In fact, I have never driven one. For me, there is no point, because it is so impractical. No, I don’t mean because the rear seat passengers have a massive piece of steel to their side instead of a window. Who said passengers need a view? My kids, anyway, can occupy themselves without being able to see a thing. You may think differently, of course… My beef is with the roof arrangement. I can live with the fact that it takes a while to erect – that is true of many 4x4s. But once it is open, and you can enjoy your wind-in-the-hair motoring, off road even, just what do you do with the hyper-pricey glass roof panels from above the front seat (Targa panels)? You put them in their special bag, and lock them away off course, don’t you? NO, YOU DON’T because the car has nowhere to lock them into. You have to drive around and PARK with these little bags loose in the open back of the car. They are just an open invitation to any miscreant to nick, and they would cost hundreds and hundreds of pounds to replace. Totally, totally silly. Similarly, forget about leaving your shopping, luggage, or anything else in the boot with the roof down – it would be similarly unprotected. And if you erect the roof, even that does not help much as it is actually kept closed with zippers operated from the OUTSIDE of the vehicle. Dohhhh… All Land Rover have to do is to provide a lockable cover to fit between the rear seats and the neat tailgate – but they didn’t. Until they wake up and do, I won’t look at a Freelander again. The only bright point for Land Rover is that similar criticisms apply to most of the competition (though they don’t have the hugely expensive Targa panels).

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